Mirrabooka Extreme Ice Arena a lightning rod for disaster

Mirrabooka Extreme Ice Arena a lightning rod for disaster
Xtreme Ice Arena Mirrabooka rink manager Angela Parker.  Picture: Andrew Ritchie         d466747
Right: Flooding damage caused by the recent lightning strike.

IT is said that lightning does not strike in the same place twice but that was not the case for the Xtreme Ice Arena in Mirrabooka.

The popular skating venue was hit by lightning about 12 months ago and again during a storm earlier this month.

The sports facility, which only recently received its insurance payout from last year’s damage, lost power, causing equipment to fail, resulting in a melted rink and flooding.

General manager Marie Lowick said it had been a tough time for the facility and its staff, having to close for a second time to fix the damage. She said the financial strain of both incidents – about $90,000 including loss of income the first time and $30,000 the second – was hard to take.

“It did take 12 months from the first lightning strike until we received the insurance fund payout; it was a long process,” she said.

“The damage last time was to our main plant, which resulted in the ice melting in sections.

“The insurance company covered the cost of the broken parts, however we needed to upgrade some of the components to ensure that the plant would not get damaged again and those components were not covered.

“Some of the other consumable items were not covered like the refrigeration gas that we lost.”

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The rink, which is used by families and the Northern Ice Hockey Association, was out of action for a week after both incidents. Mrs Lowick said it was hard to believe they had been struck again.

“Mother Nature in Perth can be cruel and kind so we do end up with issues from time to time but we never experienced what we have done with the lightning strikes,” she said. “This time when the lightning struck, our pump stopped working, which pumps the liquid around under the ice surface to keep it frozen.”

Mrs Lowick will start the insurance process again but in the meantime has started up a Go Fund Me page.

She hoped people would not only support them by coming along for a skate but also with a donation. “We would love to raise money as there are a number of upgrades and new sporting equipment we would love to buy to become even more inclusive in the community,” she said.

“If they love skating as much as we do then get involved in ice skating or one of the ice sports we offer.

“We are a second home to a lot of people in the community and we would hate to have to close.”

Rink manager Angela Parker said she hoped the community would get behind the campaign.

To donate visit www.gofundme.com/xtremeicearena.